By Sam Mooney
Right off the top I have to say that I love Chris Gibbs. He’s a very funny man with impeccable timing and an impressive ability to ad lib with a straight face. Even though Antoine Feval is a play with a script no two performances are the same as Gibbs reacts to his surroundings. Read the rest of this entry »
Toronto’s Storefront Theatre becomes a sensory-immersive space in The Bone House
This is going to be a difficult review to write. And not because Red One Theatre Collective’s The Bone House is a difficult show to love. Quite the opposite – this is an exciting piece of indie theatre. But its success is so reliant on what you don’t know about it that I feel wary of telling you much at all.
I could say something like; try introducing yourself to the people hangin’ out pre-show. Or maybe, no need for a hot shower before going. Or I could suggest eating at O.NOIR for practice. Is this vague and alluring enough? Read the rest of this entry »
By Lauren Stein
Five for Twenty (Or Less)
Festivals, fundraisers and tournaments, oh my! The warm weather has struck and so starts the exciting part of the theatre season. There are pockets of thespian action blooming all over the city, so why not splurge on a festival pass and enjoy some. Or take is slow, one show at a time. (P.S. It’s great prep for the Fringe festival…)
By Lauren Stein
Here is what’s going on in Toronto theatre this week. There are several great shows to catch for the week of May 20th, 2013. ** Shows marked with the double asterisks and in red are the ones that make Wayne, our Managing Editor, wish he could exist in multiple parallel universes so he could check them all out.
By Ryan Kerr
Toronto can explore the elusive human connection with AngelWalk Theatre’s I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
A lot has changed in the last 20 years. I like to think that the way people relate to one other has been revolutionized thanks to some major shifts in technology. Social movements, online slacktivism and even our clipped computer-based chit-chat instead of long-winded phonecalls or “electronic mails” has produced a new breed of social networking. Every day I’m bombarded with stories of how impossible relationships thrive and how overcoming social adversity produces the richest results. These feel-good news stories challenge expectations of what is expected of us to the point of redefining the definition of success. I want to believe that we have evolved beyond conforming to an antiquated ideal to paving our own way to find true happiness (and maybe, love). Read the rest of this entry »
Heavy subject matter in The Little Flower of East Orange, playing at Toronto’s Unit 102 Theatre
There’s a hollowness at the core of The Little Flower of East Orange. (Currently playing in rep at Unit 102.) This is by design: Little Flower is about heroin addicts, faithless healers, and a septuagenarian whose life depends upon denial and self-repression. It’s gotta be served cold.
We’re talking hardboiled, experimental theatre without any of its edges sanded off, and Column 13, a young company with a strong background in precisely this type of cold, alienating, thinkity-think drama, are in a unique position to explore this opportunity. And when it works, it works.
By George Perry
Explore the surreal with The Dreamer Examines His Pillow, playing at Toronto’s Unit 102 Theatre
The Dreamer Examines His Pillow is currently on stage at Toronto’s cozy Unit 102 Theatre. Column 13 has brought this play to stage. Unit 102 Theatre is a perfect venue for The Dreamer Examines His Pillow. Without a little background, you could easily think that the play was written for the theatre.
The Dreamer Examines His Pillow has three characters: Tommy, Donna and Dad. The three are far closer to people that we know in real life than the ones we have to put up with on television. The issues they grapple with are universal and important. There is a connection between cast and audience. All this makes for a play that its audience can relate to. I certainly did.
Classic absurdist theatre comes to Toronto in The Dumb Waiter
The Dumb Waiter, currently being produced by Wordsmyth Theatre, is a classic piece of absurdist theatre involving two hit men waiting in a small room for their mark to arrive. Suddenly the dumb waiter begins sending orders down – a dumb waiter is a little elevator intended to carry food and other smallish sundry items from one floor to another without the need of human accompaniment. Obviously it is a bit of an archaic device, as is the “speaking tube”, also featured in the play, that allows the men to communicate with the forces that be. Read the rest of this entry »
By Lauren Stein
Toronto’s Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace put to its best use in John and Beatrice
With the show nearing the end of its run, I was glad to see the Theatre Passe Muraille Backspace flush with audience members at the Wednesday night performance of Should Be Theatre’s John and Beatrice. The few other times I’d visited the space, it hadn’t been as full, which is always disheartening to think people are missing out on good theatre. And John and Beatrice is definitely a nifty show.
A translated piece by Montreal-born playwright Carole Fréchette, John and Beatrice throws a spin on the quintessential fairytale quest for love, riffing off the lonely woman waiting for her Prince Charming. In this play however, our lonely “princess” Beatrice supplies her own incentive to attract the lads to her tower –in this case the 33rd floor of an abandoned building. John, the man who shows up, seems to be both exactly and not quite what Beatrice had in mind.
By Sam Mooney
Toronto entertainment at its finest in Soulpepper Theatre’s The Barber of Seville
It’s billed as a musical but that doesn’t come close to describing the production. Michael O’Brien’s adaptation starts with Beaumarchais’ successful 1775 play and Rossini’s beloved 1816 opera, adds some modern language into the dialogue in the middle of a speech, morphs into a Marx Brothers’ movie, a French farce, throws in a little Gilbert and Sullivan, some pantomime, and a dash of a Road Runner cartoon. Read the rest of this entry »